Last week, I had a really invigorating chat with a website developer friend from Serbia. We talked about the increased use of cellular devices, and how narrow screens (currently) affect sidebar wrapping of content on websites, resulting in contorted images for the most part. And, naturally, how this will likely hold true for a mere year or two longer, when full HD screens become the norm on mobiles, as versus the exception.
We discussed many things. It was very enlightening for me.
For instance, I had no idea trends existed where blog designs were concerned. Or that blogs with the highest traffic typically go through revamps on an annual basis. Did you know? I was certainly in the dark. Though, if you pause and ponder, it certainly makes sense. Blogs are, in essence, storefronts. Window displays, if you like, and those in the shopping strips get changed periodically, don’t they? To attract our attention, lure us in, to while away time and (hopefully) money.
Isn’t it the same with blogs? We want readers to visit (often) and stay, not click and go. We want to catch the eyes of brands and agencies, entice them to go through our online presence, review and assess what we’ve put out there, and not find it lacking. Sub-par. Or worse, a bore.
So yes, it does make perfect sense.
display homepage is like honey. Sticky. Alluring. Interesting.
HOW IMPORTANT IS DESIGN TO THE SUCCESS OF A BLOG?
Interestingly enough, a survey undertaken by Forbes.com revealed that design elements are exponentially more powerful than content, in terms of mistrust. When asked to describe why they mistrusted a website, 94 percent of comments were directly related to web design elements, while only 6 percent referenced specific content. I’m intrigued.
And the key factor participants highlighted when mistrusting a website?
While content is (and will always be) king, design matters. Very much.
So what makes a design, good? Obviously, if you ask several designers for their definition of a good design, it’s highly likely they’ll each provide you with a different answer.
However, peer closer at some of the world’s most recognisable products/brands, and chances are you’ll detect similarities and parallels between them. Why, you ask? Well, while there are different schools of thought and a myriad of approaches to design (as it should be, variety is, after all, the spice of life), note that the best well-designed things are based on legendary designer Dieter Rams’ Ten Principles for Good Design.
Design principles which result in useful, beautiful products that ultimately give consumers a deep level of satisfaction and enjoyment when used. Tangible as well as non tangible. That translate into far more than eye-catching visuals. Or sensible, intuitive navigation. Or content with substance. It’s a delicate blend of all these components put together. Some of my personal faves include Dropbox, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, IBM, TLV Birdie, Wendy’s LookBook, Project Inspo and The Chriselle Factor (#fangirling), to name but a few.
MOST BLOGS DIE BECAUSE READERS ARE BORED, TURNED OFF
It’s also about constantly changing, being unexpected. A little treat each time that same reader visits your blog. For instance, scrolling headers or mastheads. Some crafting blogs offer different downloadables each week, cooking blogs serve up free recipes. Or pop-up messages (be careful with these though, there’s nothing more annoying than an incessant bug on your screen that just won’t go away). I personally have a great fondness for sites that offer practical tips like this one.
Oh, and there’s also video clips. They inject an element of drama quite effortlessly.
Do you feel the same? That constant change is pivotal to a blog’s survival?
p/s photos by Sofia Touassa
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